Maria Konnikova – A Sketch of Poker

A dashing figure at the poker felt, an accomplished researcher and surprisingly successful poker player, Maria Konnikova has proven to be one of the prodigies of the contemporary poker world. She started modestly, on a hunch almost that poker could be interesting.

Konnikova’s Beginning

Prior to her dive into the game, though, she had never played cards. She had no idea of what the poker rules could be, but she was determined to find out, and better yet – to write a book about it. What it was to be a professional player, how these people thought and acted.

So, she got in touch with Erik Seidel who agreed to meet her and talk about her book and research. Meeting up in a café nobody expected that they will actually strike a partnership and that their research project will go a little further. Ms. Konnikova started learning quickly from Mr. Seidel. She soon started winning events, such as PartyPoker hosted pow-wows.

Such was her progress that she didn’t take long to be sitting alongside noteworthy poker professionals, such as Jason Koon. Of course, nobody knew Ms. Konnikova, she was just a curious outlier. An exception to the common rule that poker belongs to the established heavyweights and rookies don’t have much chance butting heads with the accomplished pros.

Well, Ms. Konnikova put that to a serious test quite honestly. Not only did she become a PokerStars Ambassador, but she also continued to add to her profits from poker. So much was her success impressive that media, including the New York Times, have decided to profile her.

A Look at the Professional

A dashing look and an agile mind, Ms. Konnikova could never be summed up. She’s complicated and yet carries her wit wisely. She doesn’t want the spotlight, but fame somewhat always finds her. Aged 34, Ms. Konnikova has her beliefs about the nature of chance. “Luck,” she says, “is just randomness.”

And if she’s right, then that’s been the stepping-stone. But how does she master randomness? It seems all boils down to knowing when to play and when to trust your gut feeling, which has been developed after countless hours of playing and prodding at the game itself.

Ms. Konnikova seems to be onto a good thing, too, because she has now managed to amass $200,000 from live action, and her determination to keep both her day job and keep playing poker are quite simply there. She’s not to be dissuaded from her new hobby-cum-profession.

Ms. Konnikova, the Diligent

To say that Ms. Konnikova is a natural may be an insult. In her interview for the NY Times she said that she had been “studying playing, living, breathing” the game for eight to nine hours a day. Her dedication, talent and determination have been outstanding. But does practice makes perfect? Ms. Konnikova would say no!

But it also points out to a common trait among successful poker players – if you find a way to be persistently involved with an activity, you will eventually end up performing above average. And Ms. Konnikova, for all intents and purposes, seems to be exceling.

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